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Gary & Sandy and Tai AG CH 600

At K9 Trial on Saturday 11th February 2017

Congratulations to Gary & Sandy Stockman and

Following many trips to New Zealand with my wife Sandy to visit family and friends, we had many opportunities to watch NZ Heading dogs compete in agility, sheep work and other general farm work.  We decided to import a Heading dog from New Zealand as my first agility dog.  Up to this point in time I had been lucky enough to learn my agility skills with the help of Sandyís training and running her experienced agility dogs including Sam the Kelpie X and Ben the Sheltie. 


Kiwimatai (Tai) was born on 28th November 2009 at a property in Gisborne on the North Island of New Zealand.   At the age of 4 months Tai arrived from New Zealand to begin his life in Australia as an agility dog.


It was evident early on that Tai was a quick learner and like most working breeds was keen to always work and have a job to do.    I found the early years very challenging as Tai was extremely distracted and very excited with the movement of other dogs and he also had a very strong instinct to herd anything that moved - which included me during our training sessions!    Eventually we worked our way through all of these challenges and as I became more confident as a handler so did Tai and thatís when our connection really improved which began to show in our agility performances.


There has been many highlights along the way.  One that stands out was at the Nationals in 2012 where we placed Third in Novice Agility.  In the lead up to the finals we had some fantastic runs and placed ahead of some very good Novice dogs which gave me a huge amount of confidence as a handler.  Another highlight is being able to compete in Strategic Pairs with Sandy and Jet.   After our first Strategic Pairs run was a disaster where Tai and Jet just wanted to play with each other, it was exciting and satisfying to recently achieve our Masters Strategic Pairs title.


Apart from agility, Tai absolutely loves working sheep which is something we continue to do between agility trials.  Tai also commands centre stage when running in the paddocks on our property with his brothers and sisters.

I really enjoy everything about Tai and we look forward to continuing our agility journey!